Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Concert review: Yes frontman Jon Anderson at the Kessler Theater (February 28)
Anderson hinted at a possible collaboration with his opener, Dallas musician Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree.
OAK CLIFF Former Yes front man Jon Anderson packed the house on Tuesday night at the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff as he continued his solo tour playing small to midsized venues across the U.S. Known for his distinctive high octave voice, Anderson’s music spans more than five decades and includes many solo and collaborative works in addition to his years with Yes. His latest work titled Open was released in 2011 as his 15th solo album.
Jon Anderson at The Kessler Theater — “And You and I”
Best known for Yes hits “Roundabout,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” and collaborative work with others including Greek musician Vangelis, Anderson last toured with Yes in 2004. He had planned to tour again with Yes in 2008, but he suffered acute respiratory failure that landed him in the hospital for six months, and he was replaced with Benoit David. Many fans feel that Anderson’s vocals were such a key element of Yes music that he was irreplaceable. Ironically, Yes just announced another lead vocalist change a few weeks ago as a result of David’s own illness that caused the band to cancel concert dates in December 2011. David has been replaced with Glass Hammer lead vocalist Jon Davidson.
At 67 years old, Anderson’s voice is still amazing. Alone on stage at The Kessler in an all-acoustic set and surrounded by lit candles, fans heard firsthand that Anderson is far from an aging rocker and is still growing and interpreting. He can still hit the high notes effortlessly, and his gentle and humble stage presence gave fans a chance to get to know him at a more personal level. The crowd was diverse, with fans from their 20’s to 60’s.
Playing guitar for most of the evening and mixing in a few on the keyboards and ukulele, he delivered 20+ songs, including well known Yes songs as well as new songs. He has not lost the ability to mesmerize audiences, as is evidenced from his sold-out show at the Kessler.
Tim DeLaughter at the Kessler Theater — “Same Dress, New Day”
The Kessler had a well-chosen warm up act in Polyphonic Spree leader and former front man for Tripping Daisy, Tim DeLaughter, whose own vocals share similarities with Anderson’s. Anderson apparently agreed, as he told the audience that he enjoyed DeLaughter’s performance and was going to “give Tim his email address” so that they may collaborate in the future.
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